Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

By R.C. Seely

AS THE “MANIFEST DESTINY” MOVEMENT TOOK hold and the United States expanded into the South West of the continent, mining towns started cropping up and with the mining towns saloons and brothels. After the weeks work of digging for precious metals and resources such as coal, the miners wanted to unwind–have a few beers or shots of whiskey, play a few cards or spend the evening with one of the prostitutes. As these mining towns grew and brought in more respectable businesses and families, the need to isolate the more seedy parts of the mining towns became a priority, so they came up with “red light districts” a separated part of town for saloons and brothels. It worked quite well, until the towns grew into cities and isolation wasn’t enough, full on prohibition was the new way to go. So the red lights turned into the “black markets” and the violence that the respectable wanted contained now bleed all across their cities. Eventually the issue of vice management became the responsibility of the states and many brought drinking and gambling back, a couple even brought back prostitution. 

    Back then the red light districts were a social compromise for the safety of it’s citizens, today they are areas that put the citizens at higher risk. A trend to demonstrate your antimosity towards firearms is to replace the regular light bulb in the porch light with a red one. Basically you are advertising to the world that your home is a “gun-free zone.” That’s a really smart move! Hey criminals, why not hit this house, we don’t like violence of any kind and expect you to respect that. Because that how the real world works. Now to the way a criminal sees it: Hey these idiots just made my job way easier. I think Ill go there and do whatever I want. This should be fun

    If you’re against guns that’s fine, don’t get one but don’t let everyone know about it. Not only are you unnecessarily putting yourself at risk but you are putting the whole neighborhood at risk too. You think the intruders will assume that it’s just you who doesn’t have a gun on the block? They might think others feel the same as you and simply choose not to mark their house. A friendly piece of advice if you see red light come up in your street; get a quality alarm, a gun, a dog and sign advertising it all. Your home just become a marked target all because the progressives next door hate the NRA. 

    Even during the era of the original red light districts gun control was tried and had the same results as today. A few towns tried to outlaw carrying guns in city limits and it was the respectable who obeyed the laws and the cowboys and miners who did whatever they wanted. At least back then they didn’t go around with a sign “We don’t like guns and are completely unarmed. We make the perfect victims.” That’s basically what these people are saying. 

    I think every home should have at least one firearm, and everyone in that home should be trained in how to use it at the right age. It might be an attitude that is viewed as antiquated but it’s also the safest. Otherwise you are dependent on the police and a lot can happen in the time it takes for them to arrive. Doesn’t it make more sense for you to be able to handle the situation yourself? And having a gun in your home does deter intruders, a study by the CDC demonstrated that. The findings were that most gun deaths are suicides and then the criminals. Harvard replicated the study with the same results. But if you don’t feel comfortable with a gun in your home, don’t get one that’s fine. Don’t make it more difficult for others to get one though by supporting extended gun control measures that don’t work. All they do is make it harder for the law abiding to get protection and easier for the criminals, who still have the black market to turn to, to have their way. In a few places they have ordinances that the citizens are legally required to have a firearm in their homes. That’s just as wrong as these laws that inhibit others from obtaining their tool of self-preservation. Whether you want one or not should be your choice and yours alone. Now turn off that red light before you wake the neighbors.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books on pop culture. The most recent, Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

ALONG WITH UBER AND AIRBNB, THE MONOPOLIES to traditional markets have another rookie to bring competition to another market–housing. Like other monopolies, the status quo titans are not giving up their power without a fight and the standard weapon of choice is the law.

    From Curbed.com, a housing business website:

“Despite the growing enthusiasm for tiny houses, it still isn’t easy to legally build them for full time use. Zoning laws and building codes by and large, require a minimum square footage for new construction homes, and progress to reduce that square footage is slow. 

Cities and towns that have started to accommodate tiny houses have typically been pushed by grassroots organizers asking government officials for changes to local building and zoning codes.”

    A little about “tiny houses” you should know, they are either a type of recreational vehicle or have a solid foundation like regular buildings. It’s the ones with the foundation that seem to have state legislatures in a frenzy. Many states are only allowing tiny houses to build within a tiny house community, if at all. The strict construction codes have mostly come from the same source, the International Residential Code (IRC) with such requirements as 70 square feet for room size and 7 foot tall ceilings, and a minimum 1,000 square feet for construction, all fairly common zoning guidelines. Also absurd for tiny houses.

    “Construction codes tell you how to build your home,”Andrew Morrison, of Tiny House Build says. “Zoning depends on where you build your home.” There are some states choosing to embrace the movement. Certain counties in the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Texas–but again still check out the zoning laws beforehand since it’s only select counties within those states. For more information, the American Tiny House Association has compiled a list of state regulations and state chapter leaders. They might even be of assistance in getting a variance for your state or county.

    The state of Utah might be joining the list, all with the help of the Utah based legal activist organization, The Libertas Instititute. Along with the other economic and civil causes on their long list, the right to build on your property free from the zoning gestapo. With the trend of the smaller dwellings popularity with millenials a reevaluation might end up being more than something to consider, but a necessity. Options for housing could help reinvigorate the housing market for the demographic most cynical about the idea of being home owners. Because of the economic incentive and not just the novelty of tiny houses, it appears to be more than “just a trend.” And the first step is to reconsider is the zoning laws. “There’s plenty of momentum to continue changing zoning regulations at the local level. But there’s movement on the national level, too. Tiny house advocates are currently pushing to include a tiny house code in the International Residential Code,” explains Morrison.

    Adapting the zoning and construction regulations would not only make sense economically but is protecting the homeowner’s right to utilize their property in the manner best for their needs. Control obsessed state and county legislatures shouldn’t have more say about what is built on your property or how you use it than you do. If you live in a planned community you have certain bylaws you agree to, that’s a voluntary transaction. You can always leave if you want or petition the board and your neighbors to change the rules. But you still had the choice. With these sort of laws you are robbed of that choice, whether it’s a traditional home or tiny one.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon

By R.C. Seely

RECENTLY COMEDIAN KATHY GRIFFIN MADE a serious faux pas with a pictorial depiction of herself holding the severed head of Donald Trump and she unleashed a massive amount of backlash for it. Surprisingly it has not only been ardent Trump supporters to voice their disapproval but those who despise Trump as well. Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton referred to the picture as “vile and wrong.” In a Twitter post she went on to say “It is never funny to joke about killing a president.”

    CNN Communications tweeted “CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program.” And this is not the only job opportunity rescended to Griffin, the company that produces the Squatty Potty–a line of toilet footstools, if you were curious–has also dropped her. In part of his statement, chief executive Bobby Edwards declared, “It was deeply inappropriate and runs contrary to the core values our company stands for.”

    It’s not only her career that could be in jeopardy for this stunt that Griffin admitted, she “went too far.” This has attracted the attention of the presidential body guards, the Secret Service. Tweeting that “threats against @SecretService protectees receive the highest priority of all our investigations.” Would you mind telling where the actual “threat” is? Griffin never said she was going to commit the actual beheading of the president, the picture could be loosely interpretive to that, but even that’s a bit of a stretch. And a statement of the death of political leaders in effigy is part of this country, even before the country in fact. To rally support of independence dummies of England’s King were basically tortured and “killed.” An act like this is at least partially responsible for the founding of this nation. Apparently the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) doesn’t see it this way. VFW Commander Brian Duffy, argues that it “was not humourous nor should it be protected speech or expression.” Well, the first part I do agree but not the second. I’m not going to dispute how much of an “incredibly revolting attack on the President of the United States,” as Duffy puts it, that this picture represents. It’s his right to say that and I support and defend that right. This is what Griffin’s critics get wrong, that because “their guy” is being figuratively assaulted that amounts the same thing as an actual assault. Did you know that you can get 10 years in prison for threatening the President? For threatening him! A bit excessive for a statement I’d say. I get it, the death–especially a successful assassination–of the President would send the nation into turmoil but this still seems extreme. And no matter what, if an assassin is truly dedicated to “getting rid of the tyrant,” they will find a way. Many in the past have sent letters to their intended victims before hand, but generally it’s been multiple volumes, not a single ill-advised letter or picture.

    Much of the criticism was aimed at how grotesque and not humourous the image. This Griffin admitted in her apology on Instagram, “I’m a comic. I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing…. It wasn’t funny. I get it.” Thing is, it was never really supposed to be funny. It was a satrical piece that was intentionally provocative. That’s​ why she collaborated with photographer Sheilds who has made his mark in the world of art through similar pieces. His comments confirm this, “she [Griffin] said, ‘I’d love to do something political. I’d love to make a statement.” Congratulations, Kathy Griffin you did just that.

    With freedom of speech comes the acceptance that, at times there are consequences. Some are valid like losing a job, others not so much, like losing your freedom because of a strictly hypothetical “threat.” Griffin and possibly her co-conspirator, Sheilds may have to suffer both. The first is simply part of the free market at work, second is part of the authoritarian state flexing it’s muscle. No one who truly believes in the First Amendment should be applauding the possibility of Griffin facing incarceration. It’s Sheilds that puts it the best, “I love the idea we have freedom of speech. The fact that I’m allowed to make an image like this says a lot. To me, that’s a powerful thing … nobody’s killed me for this image.” And hopefully it never comes to that.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. His most recent book, Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.